Bassinets are not as widely used today as they were in the past, but there are still some parents who like to start their babies out in them rather than in a crib.
Combining the best features of a co-sleeper and a crib, bassinets can be helpful and a good choice for many parents who may not have considered them before.
Bassinet Vs Crib
So, why would you opt for a bassinet to use during the newborn months when you could just use a crib from the very beginning?
Bassinets are ideal for the first few months of a baby’s life for one main reason: they allow your baby to stay in your room, near you.
She can feel secure knowing that mom and dad are close by, and eliminate the need for you to get up during the night to respond to your baby’s cry from the nursery.
As you are recovering from childbirth, you will also be thankful to eliminate the need to leave your bed during the night.
Having a bassinet in your room offers many of the same benefits that a co-sleeper baby bed does, but the difference is that you will be able to keep your bed to yourself.
There is no room taken up by other object in your bed, and you can simply keep your baby within arm’s reach to the side of your bed.
Whether or not a bassinet is right for you will depend on what type of sleeper you are.
If you are a light sleeper, like myself, every little grunt, whimper, and shuffle that comes from your baby will likely keep you on high alert throughout the night, resulting in little to no sleep for you.
Be sure to keep this in mind before you begin looking for a bassinet.
What to Look For
When you are looking at purchasing a bassinet, you will want to keep a few things in mind:
Using a Bassinet in the first place can be a safer option than alternatives such as co-sleeping in those early months. This removes the risk of suffocation that can occur with a shared sleep surface.
The design of some bassinets can be a bit flimsy. This can lead to the risk of tipping over if your baby was to have a rough night and squirm around a lot in their sleep.
Stability and a well built frame are key.
Cost is also going to be an important factor when purchasing a bassinet. Not only do you want to make sure it fits your budget, but you also want to make sure you get your money’s worth.
The bassinet can only be used for the first few months of life. As you get to the higher price points it may be a better use of your funds to just buy a crib right off the bat.
Ideally, you will want a bassinet that can be easily moved to another room. This will be especially important when you are ready to transition your little one over to her nursery.
Having a lightweight or portable bassinet will allow you to move your baby with that bed she is so comfortable with into her new room.
Then, when she is used to sleeping alone, the transition to the crib or bed will be that much easier.
With everything you have on your plate with a new baby, the last thing you want is to have something that is difficult to put together and/or clean.
Thankfully, there are many options available that are easy to assemble and have removable parts that can be machine washed.
Top Rated Baby Bassinet Reviews
Best Baby Bassinet Summary
Combining the best parts of a co-sleeper and a bassinet, the Arms Reach Concepts Clear Vue is an excellent choice of bassinet. It can be used as a standalone piece, or you can fold the side flap down and push it right up against the bed.
It is even adjustable, from 24 to 30 inches, which will allow it to be just the right height for your bed.
The 360 degrees of mesh siding allow you to keep your baby in view, even if you just need to peek your head in during nap time.
The wheels allow for portability, so that this bed can be easily rolled into the nursery when you need to transition, or if you just want to have your baby close by in the living room during her nap.
The design of this bassinet allow it to be used until your baby is around 5 months of age, which is longer than most other bassinets you will find on the market.
It can be challenging to initially setup. So does not pass the initial user friendly test, but once you are up and running it should be relatively pain free!
The wheels are not the best quality, but will perform adequately. If you have a fussy baby then the mattress could also use an upgrade.
This bassinet by HALO looks like something from the future. Compact and height adjustable (from 24 to 34 inches), with a 360 degree swivel and multiple extra features, the Swivel Sleeper has everything you could need (and more) in a baby sleeper.
the bed is set on a narrow metal stand which allows it to sit right next to the bed (on it if you were to adjust the height) without taking up much space.
Not only does the swivel make it easy to maneuver your baby, bringing her closer to you when necessary, but it also makes it easy to maneuver around as you can swing it toward and away from the bed to make it easier to get in and out.
The Swivel Sleeper comes with all the bells and whistles -- built-in nightlight, vibration, soothing sounds and lullabies, feeding timer, and storage pockets -- that you may need to ensure you and your baby rest well.
As you may be expecting, the HALO is a bit more expensive. You will get value for money if you will use all of the included features, but if not you may be better off looking at a simpler alternative.
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play was designed with portability in mind.
Small, lightweight, and easy to fold, this bassinet is ideal for on the go use, or simply switching between daytime play in the living room and nighttime sleeping in the bedroom.
The metal framing folds up (almost flat), making it easy to move it from room to room, or storing away.
A small mirror and an owl toy come attached to the side, which will keep your baby entertained as she enjoys some tummy time during the day.
With a little push, the bed rocks to help your baby sleep better.
The mattress is very thin and moves easily under your baby, which can cause it to get folded and kinked. The washing directions also say that it should only be spot cleaned, which will make it difficult to get some of the harder stains out.
The rest of the lining (meaning the fabric bottom and sides) cannot be taken out for cleaning.
If you are one who loves to spend time outdoors, even if it is just in your yard, then this is the bassinet for you. You can take your baby outside and let her enjoy some fresh air without worrying about bugs with the full cover canopy.
The canopy can be used either half up or with both sides, which zip together creating a protective barrier around your baby. The convenient storage basket underneath is also ideal for keeping extra diapers or blankets within reach.
The entire unit snaps together with ease, without the need for extra tools.
There is some inconsistent information from the manufacturer on what a safe weight limit is for this bassinet. Dream on Me's website indicates 25lbs, where as some consumers have found the booklet to show just 10lbs.
A conservative approach is encouraged wherever safety is concerned so it may not be wise to push the limits as your baby grows.
The mattress pad is also a difficult shape to find fitted sheets for.
When you think bassinet, you likely think of the old fashioned mini crib or cradle, with canopy and frills. Of course, with modern design, those are not seen as often, but if you want that adorable cliched design, the Delta Children Sweet Beginnings is perfect.
The included wheels make rolling this bed from room to room simple, quick, and easy.
You will also find some basic, but handy features to make the experience very user friendly. The attached unit comes with a built-in nightlight and soothing sounds, plus the included fitted sheet can be a life saver.
Unfortunately the unit is only small and your baby will outgrow this in no time. The design is lighter and not as sturdy as the other bassinets on this list.
The old fashioned design looks nice, but the limited use will make it appeal to only those who fall in love with the appearance.
We arrived at our recommendation of the Arms Reach Concepts Clear Vue due to the extended possible use, and the balance of features with price.
The convenience of the storage basket, foldable side to bring it next to your bed, and 360 degrees of mesh siding, it is hard to beat.
We did see a couple of things that are not ideal, like the weak wheels and difficult assembly, but there are other factors that more than make up for those. Just be sure to take your baby out while you are wheeling this bed around the house to avoid any chance of tipping or injury, and the ease of cleaning, with a plastic lined mattress and removable fabric sides that can be washed, makes up for the little bit of extra work you will need to put into assembling this bed.
The best thing about this bassinet, in our opinion, is that once your baby is too big to sleep in it, you can still get use out of it.
The wheels lock, which will keep it securely in place, so you can set it up in the nursery, fold down the side, and use it as a changing table, complete with storage basket underneath to hold all of your diapers and wipes.